Probably the most serene place I have ever been.
Everyone seems to speak in whispers here so there is nothing stopping you from listening to the natural soundscape of Gili Air, nothing stopping you from soaking in the view and nothing stopping you from that sense of easy peace which is often rare to come across during your hectic travels.
We travelled across to Gili Air by fast boat from Padangbai, Bali. The journey took us about an hour, with a stop off at Gili T – allowing us to get a glimpse of what was to come and a stark contrast to what our time in Gili Air would be like.
From spending just under a week in Kuta, Bali, where heavy traffic of cars, mopeds and people were a constant trial on your daily excursions, Gili Air was as though someone had pressed their hands over your ears, muffling sounds completely.
There are no roads on Gili Air, apart from wide dusty tracks. This means there are no cars, so no beeping, no engines and no constant fear of being run down by a stray moped. Instead the only ways to get around was by bike, foot or horse and carriage. The sounds of hooves and jingling bells are hardly something to complain about.
Although very small, Gili Air has a lot of facilities and the best restuarant we found, which would hold its own compared to any back at home, was the Lemongrass.
After a long day travelling and lugging your backpack around under the burning sun of midday, this place was our little heaven. Straight up the road from the harbour and about a five minute walk, we stumbled across this place and then and there decided it would be where we’d spend the next few hours.
The food was amazing, unfortunately I have no idea what is was that we ordered, but the chicken, veg and sauce were to die for. But most importantly, the purple sweet potato fries were the best type of fries or chips I have ever tried. You must go.
Along with the first class food, the restuarnt itself was everything a traveller could wish for – bamboo, hand made furniture, a selection of games like Chess and Uno, and a perfect view of the road where you could watch the world go by.
If you have ever been to any of the Greek Islands you will know that nothing compares to their white, sandy beaches and the purest, clearest, bluest sea. That will be until you go to Gili Air. It is everything you dream of when you think of an Asian beach, and the visual reality of it is even better.
I think I stood for about ten minutes just staring at the view, not quite believing that a poor student could be somewhere so awe inspiring.
If you take a left from the harbour, and walk down the track for about ten minutes, you will come across a few restaurants and bars, all wooden huts and sandy floors. The other side of these restaurants is the most beautiful beach you will ever see. The waves break far out to sea, leaving the shore with a flat expanse of a few inches of warm, turquoise water. The view of Lombok and its mountains rise up in the distance and the sand is the type that you want to run your hands through forever.
Plus, all you have to do to loan a sunbed or hut is purchase a drink from one of the beachside bars…